Can Eight Words Make a Better World?

This is the 67th in a collection of newspaper ads written by Harry Gray, then CEO of United Technologies, that appeared in the Wall Street Journal from the late 1970s through the early 1980s. Here is the text from that ad.


Doctrines, credos, manifestos, laws, declarations, codes of ethics.
Ever since people have been able to communicate, they have compiled words to live by.
But the world is still troubled.
Take these words:
honesty,
workmanship,
ambition,
faith,
education,
charity,
responsibility,
courage.
Chances are four and a half billion people won’t agree to live their lives by them.
But think how much better your life would be if just one person does.
You.


It’s a great list of words; if I could add two of my favorites, they would be kindness and grit. That would bring the total number of words to 10, perhaps they could be considered a modern, and simpler, version of the Ten Commandments.

Harry Gray is right about how much better our lives would be if we lived by such words, and when combined with the power of networks, could spread quickly through our families, neighborhoods, schools, and businesses.

Never underestimate the power of one person to make a difference.

And by the way, today’s population is 7.4 billion people.

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